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Category Archives: double unders

Not new beginnings but back to basics?

The Baker’s Cyst had a message for me. I took it to my excellent, if somewhat pain-causing physio, Paul Keenan, who confirmed the likely diagnosis, told me what exercises I should and shouldn’t do and began to unkink the hideous pain in my right hip and glutes. While he was causing me immense pain, he pointed out that the right-hand side of my body, which is the side on which I get piriformis and itb pain, was in much better shape than the left-hand side of my body which was, as he put it, ‘a wreck’. But because I feel no pain on that side, I’ve never bothered much with physio, rehab or rolling it. Hmmm….

actions proveThat was Tuesday. Friday when I went to row (about all that’s possible right now) he was at the box and helped me work out a scaling for the day’s wod, which was:

100 double-unders
10 cleans
80 double-unders
8 cleans
60 double-unders
6 cleans
40 double-unders
4 cleans
20 double-unders
2 cleans

I can’t do multiple double-unders and cleans would put too much pressure on the Baker’s cyst, so as the double-under scale was three times the skips, I opted for strict presses in place of cleans so I did 300 skips, 10 strict presses, 240 skips, 8 strict presses etc which meant I was only cleaning once each round (and I was only using a 12 kilo bar!)

I had to stay up on my toes for the skips, which was a calf killer and – being a female – needed to run to the loo in the 240 skips round which cost me some time! My overall time was 13:26 which I’m not unhappy with, allowing for the toilet break and the sheer horribleness of that much skipping, especially as I’m injured (again).

But while I was stretching, after, Paul and I got to talking again and it occurred to me that actually I might be getting completely accurate pain messages from the left hand side of my body – but my weird wiring reports them as being on the right! And as we talked Paul suggested that it might be possible to do some intensive remediation work, focusing fascia release as a way of getting more accurate feedback/muscular control.

Suddenly that’s a major new commitment, a potential change for the better, but a substantial requirement to start again with basic movements and to re-learn just about everything … and it will be cost and time intensive. I can feel myself getting tired just at the prospect. I mean, really? Don’t I have enough to do already? Can I even begin to re-educate a body that, at best, has intermittent recognition of its extremities? Do I want to engage in yet another round of how weird and crap I am at normal stuff?

On the other hand, I just can’t carry on picking up injuries at this rate. The idea that I might be able to regain some feedback from areas that currently have none, and the idea that I might not have to have physio ALL THE TIME just to keep going … well that’s attractive.

Thinking … thinking … thinking.

Also, and I probably shouldn’t post this, but there’s a pull-up challenge doing the rounds, for charity. I’m so glad nobody’s nominated me!

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19 November – 100 day challenges and what they teach me

Well, herecommitment’s what I learned from the 100 Day Burpee Challenge, which coincidentally ran in synch with me reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest – basically a 100 Day literary challenge in itself!

1. There’s a narrow window within which constant practice improves performance before it becomes overtraining and delivers injury.
2. Mental toughness is not a problem for me, apparently.
3. Once you do reach the injury window and it opens wide, you’ve got two choices – flake or force it. I chose to force it, although I had to adapt my practice to classic straight arm burpees without a chest dip, as the injury I picked up was tennis elbow.
4. Burpees no longer frighten me, at all. I even did them in the Cotswold Shop to try out my new hiking boots!

So, what does that add up to?

As the inimitable David Foster Wallace points out, once you become a ‘phenom’, or even aspire to be one, your life becomes totally dedicated to the process of phenomenalisation – making yourself into as much of a prodigy as you can be. This includes things (for DFW’s character Hal) like squeezing a tennis ball all day, every day to develop the arm muscles (I’m considering adding this to my day, as I still don’t have a strict pull up). Hal also takes a nicely balanced cocktail of recreational drugs, which I’m not considering adding to my repertoire, instead I’ve taken out all non-natural sugars, tea, milk and potatoes

In other words, challenges become a way of life, if they continue long enough, and we invest in them fully enough and the habituation to difficulty spreads through other areas of life, so that a step change happens … a step change towards excellence.

I took a week off after the burpee challenge, now I’m doing 100-1 squats and sit ups. It’ll run until February 2014. It amazes me that I’ve embraced all this, and paleo, without any real intent to change my life. I came to Crossfit because I couldn’t run through injury, and 18 months on, I have changed my shape, my size, my diet, my goals, my training programme (entirely) my vocabulary and my view of the world. Most women look a bit skinny to me now, I live in hoodies, have been known to do burpees in shops and on other people’s living room floors and squats in trains, in other words, I am obsessed with seeking the excellence I desire and I don’t let convention get in the way.

WOD – 15 minute A18 nov 13MRAP

400 metre run
5 power cleans
5 push press

I felt like rubbish when I got to the box, and didn’t fancy this WOD at all. In the end I got 4 rounds and 5 power cleans, which was considerably more than I thought I would, given that I had a stitch after the first round and was blowing snot the whole way through. Think I might have a bit of a virus …

Also got 5×3 at 80% of my one rep max in back squats – pleased with that.

• Bruises – back squat
• Wishlist – still the pull up, and to get consistent in more than one double under
• PB – nope.

And then there was P …

Paleo. I’m going to try 30 days of Paleo from Monday 7 October.

I feel weird just typing that. No dairy (no dairy!) no sugar, no potatoes, no beans …

I think I might last till Thursday.

I just can’t imagine that radical a change to my diet – which is odd because when I cut out wheat, about ten months ago, I couldn’t have imagined that either, and yet now I don’t miss it or think about it at all. So we’ll see …

allotment cropsI estimate about thirty of us were present for the Plan P chat that Coach Barney gave us today. It was fun and thought-provoking, although the main thing it provoked in me was doubt. Can I really do this? I’m certainly not going to be short of provisions, given the harvest from the allotment this week …

The other thing I’ve started doing is personal training, with Coach David. That feels really weird. I’m just not good enough to merit coaching so I think of it as remedial studies – and having established very quickly what was wrong with my squat (poor ankle mobility) and what was wrong with my bench (poor positioning, poor breathing and no proprioception because my feet weren’t properly on the ground) I got painful exercises to do at home and a 1 kilo pb on my bench in the first twenty minutes of the training session. Bench feels a lot easier now I know to put 2×20 plates at the end of the bench to put my feet on. A very simple thing but it makes all the difference to my position, and my confidence about the lift.

Still only one double under though. Despite skipping for what felt like forever, I can still only get singles! I suspect that double unders will be turning up in my pt sessions for a while to come!

As for WODs, well I haven’t actually got photos of the last few – we’ve moved house and I’ve lost track of a lot of stuff (I didn’t lose track of training, but I did lose track of tracking training, if you take my meaning) and I need to get back on top of it.

• Bruises – loads from double unders
• Wishlist – more than one double under
• PB – 1 kilo bench
• Burpee Challenge – Day 66 – still going.

And another PB (this one’s for all the clumsy kids out there)

free to changeAfter bench pressing with the son of a friend of mine (this blog is called Old Enough To Be Your Crossfit Mother for good reason!) I took nine seconds off my baseline fitness time today, down from 6 minutes 18 seconds to 6 minutes 9.

Not huge, but pleasing, especially as it went up to 6:18 after the first time I took it. Mind you, it’s partly because I haven’t actually performed the same WOD twice. The first time I definitely wouldn’t have been doing strict press-ups and used a green band for pull ups. The second time was strict press-ups but a purple band, and this time I used jumping pull ups – difficult to compare like with like.

Also a Tabata checkout – hollow body rocks. I got 78. Happy with that.

I’d also had a little discussion with Coach Barney during the focus (Bench – how I hate it!) about my negative thinking.

True, I have negative thinking. I need it.

For decades I berated myself so that nobody else would. One of my clearest memories is of a primary school teacher saying to me, ‘How can a clever little girl be so stupid?’ because I’d failed in some simple task again, and again, and again and … again. And probably again the next day and the whole week, month and year too.

I didn’t know how I could be so stupid, and I didn’t know why and knowing why now doesn’t really help. Neurological impairment is weird – it’s not consistent. It’s not like being Forrest Gump who throws off his leg braces and runs like the wind. It’s more like going from wheelchair to leg brace to running and back to leg brace on a random basis.

Today, for example, I managed three single double unders. Woo hoo! Those are the first double unders for a month. Everybody tells me they come and go but I know that mine might just go. Box jumps have gone. For ten months now.

So it’s still important for me to knock myself before anybody else does. Maybe that will change one day but not yet. I’m used to disappointing myself, and that means I don’t have to disappoint others. Simples.

Oh yes. 100 Day Burpee Challenge. Today is day 22. It’s horrible.

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